South Western uses social media to put students first

South Western School District  |  Posted on

South Western School District found a way to not only to spread school pride through the community but to meet students where they are — in the age of social media. In a yearlong social media effort, administrators will be tweeting with the hashtag #SWExcellence to encourage communication as well as involvement with the school board.

“We might say, ‘Hey, find one of us at the football game tonight and you have to answer a question,’ and that question might be, ‘Who’s our school board president?'” said Superintendent Jay Burkhart. Or there might be a challenge for five students to come to a school board meeting or to make a public comment from the front row, he said. And Burkhart believes students lead the charge in community involvement, he said, “because when kids come, parents come.” In return, students get a T-shirt sporting the hashtag along with the high school’s brand, “Mustang Pride.”

The district already has a similar campaign going on in the high school, with the theme “Leave Your Mark,” in which students spread community pride by wearing a shirt, taking a picture and tweeting it. Administrators have been using the hashtag to spread good news and teachers, as well as official school accounts such as Mustang Athletics and Manheim Elementary, are also running with the idea.The effort is to incorporate everyone — not just students and teachers but the community as well — Burkhart said, noting that many who are not students also use the district’s facilities.

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